From jeans to teddy bears, books, movies and even shoes, students at Stratford District Secondary School (SDSS) swapped thousands of items for a good cause on Thursday.

The timing of the event was in honor of Earth Day.

“This reduces waste because a lot of these items might’ve been thrown out and into landfills,” Grade 10 student Natalie Ditty said.

“It also reduces the consumption of water and other natural resources because new items don’t need to be made if they are buying them secondhand,” Ditty continued.

“To come, you had to bring a donation and you would get a ticket from your teacher to be able to go,” Grade 10 student Elliana Morrison explained.

Students with tickets then had first dibs on other donated items.

“You need a ticket for during school hours but once school is over, anyone is allowed,” Morrison explained.

No money is exchanged. All of the items are free and there is no limit on how much participants can take home.

SDSS Principal Kim Crawford was extremely happy with the turnout and enthusiasm.

“We’ve got students double fisting bags full,” she said with a smile.

Nathan Bean, also a Grade 10 student, said he often hears many people ask how they can help or get involved in climate change action.

“Just re-using is a great way for students to get involved,” Bean said.

The Student Swap event was also meant to encourage second-hand use.

“We also want to help reduce stigma around buying second-hand items,” Grade 10 student Jocelyn Williams said.

Most items were donated by SDSS students.

One third of the donations came from outside the school walls, thanks to the Stratford community.

It’s estimated over a thousand items exchanged hands at the event.

“Something unique that stuck out to me was the amount of formal dresses that we got here,” Grade 11 student Ciara Peicheff-Kirkwood said.

“Which is nice because Prom is coming up,” Peicheff-Kirkwood added.

The successful event was a result of the eco-club and fashion class working together at the newly amalgamated school.

“This is the first time we’ve come together for a whole school event. Not just since the pandemic started, but since two Stratford schools merged to become Stratford District Secondary School,” Crawford explained.

She said she was pleased with the way the students worked together to pull off the Student Swap.

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